Friday, March 23, 2007

Magnificent Qing dynasty carpets made for the Forbidden City in Beijing

In the Fuller Building, 41 East 57th Street, the Danon Gallery of Rome and Doris Leslie Blau of New York have a show of what are thought to be magnificent Qing dynasty carpets made for the Forbidden City in Beijing. “We were in the fair for the first time last year and did so well we decided to expand to New York,” said Enzo Danon, who owns the third-generation business with his brother Roberto.

Mounted on the walls, silk carpets laced with gold and silver threads are covered with imperial dragons chasing pearls (representing the emperors’ search for truth and wisdom), lotus flowers (purity, virtue) and pomegranates (fertility). The catalog recounts famous tales of Chinese court life that reveal the meanings of the motifs.

“The symbolism works on different levels,” Mr. Danon said. “Many carpets were made by monks and show a strong Buddhist influence.”

Others have Chinese markings at the top. “There were more than a thousand pavilions in the Forbidden City,” Mr. Danon explained. “The inscriptions say where the carpets go.”

Woven in burnt orange, lavender, indigo blue and yellow silks, the carpets vibrate with color. All but three are available, from $35,000 to $160,000.
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